For our Saturday adventure we first
Inside the home, the walls are covered with a mural/wallpaper in very vibrant colors. All the wallpaper in the home is original (restored). The beds all have dark drapes surrounding the bed to keep out the light. It must have been hot a lot of the time because even when the temp is not high, the humidity is.
This is a slave cabin.Each slave family occupied a 24' square room with 1 door, 1 window, a fireplace, & an attic loft. One of their slaves, Betty, was the Jackson cook for more than 50 years. Her son stayed at the Hermitage after the Civil War with his family for decades, and is buried in the family garden near the family cemetery.
It looked almost like a Christmas Ivy tree. Darryl mistakenly called it a bush when we asked one of the employees at Hermitage about it. I won't tell you what he said, but he obviously had no sense of humor and needed to loosen up.
On Sundays we go to church at the Young Single Adult branch in Nashville. We must seem very immature because we keep ending up with the single adults at church. This would make it the 4th time we have been assigned there. The kids (18-30 yrs old) are very nice. Many of them are in Nashville seeking careers in the music business (singers, musicians, or song writing).
Well, last Sunday we had a special treat for our meeting. The Ward (congregation) who meets in the building before us is a family ward. They had presented their Primary Program (by young children) and consented to give an encore performance for our Branch. It was great, but the best part was a young boy, about 4-5 years old who stood in the front row and absolutely yelled the songs so loud he was all you could hear. Sometimes he even put his hands up around his mouth to make it louder. He was singing....but just very loudly. He didn't know all the words, but he could sure boom out the chorus.
This is Alek Garcia. He is one of the Young Adults in our YSA Branch. We met him the first time we went to Church there. The thing that endeared him to me was that he was born in Phoenix and had lived in Blythe, California. I told him we were meant to meet. We picked him up and took him to the David Archuleta Fireside, even though he warned us that he lived in the Hood!. Yeah....if the hood is in the honors dorm of Tennessee State College. Because of his good grades and his difficult beginning in life he has been awarded a $100,000 scholarship for college. He is very shy, but very charming. He told me he has his genealogy done back to Adam and Eve. I told him that must mean we are related. He believed me.
We are finding great joy in serving here in Tennessee. It is not easy, and actually, sometimes it is hard, but that is what brings the real joy and satisfaction. We work with 240 of the most delightful young men and women you ever want to meet. They have given up 2 years of their lives in order to serve others and bring truth to them. As part of my work here, I speak with many apartment managers where our missionaries are renting. Never has one of them ever had any criticism of them, and in fact when we have to close an apartment when they are moved, they request that we remember them in the future because they love renting to these honorable young men and women. I love it when they come into the office because they just bring a lot of happiness with them. Of course by the time they leave again they have eaten anything left in the kitchen, the candy bowl etc. Yesterday they came in and we made them grilled cheese sandwiches with the homemade bread Darryl had brought it. They were delighted. The kitchen in the office has a toaster oven, a George Foreman grill, a microwave and a refrigerator. If you ever have a chance to serve a mission--it is worth every minute of sacrifice it takes to get here.
We still think of you all......except now it is with a southern accent. We'd love to have you come out here and help to rake up all the leaves that have fallen on the ground. I guess I had forgotten about leaves from having lived in Tucson for so long. Every morning we have to swipe all the leaves off of the car so we can drive to work. Bye for now.